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Valve Demos Steam Controller with Portal 2, CS:GO

By - Source: Valve | B 30 comments

On Friday, Valve designer Greg "Gregori" Coomer posted a Steam controller demonstration on the Steam Universe Community website, showing how the device can handle input across a wide range of game types using the two trackpads instead of analog sticks. Titles featured in this demo include Portal 2, Civilization 5, Counter-Strike: GO and Papers Please.

"One of the most important features of the controller is that the two trackpads are fully configurable," he says. "What we're showing here is what we call 'Legacy Mode', which is playing a game that hasn't been modified at all to support the controller. So this is just standard keyboard and mouse style Portal 2, but the controller is acting like a mouse and keyboard, and is mapped to output keyboard events that Portal 2 expects."

The right trackpad is configured to a 1:1 view control mode, meaning the thumb can move a fixed amount of distance on the pad that translates into a small movement on the screen, unlike a joystick that uses a velocity or relative-based movement. Meanwhile, the left pad is configured like a D-Pad where up is mapped to the "W" key, down is mapped to the "S" key, and so on. Naturally, lefties may want to reverse this setup and map the Arrow keys.

In Civilization 5, the right trackpad is used as a 1:1 mouse pointer, the left trackpad used to control the camera, and the bottom buttons for zooming in and out of the virtual city. In Counter-Strike: GO, he seems to use the same configuration seen in Portal 2, but comments that the tech allows gamers to aim and shoot without any kind of auto-aim help. In Papers Please, he uses both trackpads as mouse pointers.

"We can use both trackpads to control the mouse alternately," he explains. "The two mouse movements get blended together so I can move with my left thumb and then my right thumb, and it allows you to do a really quick walk across the screen. It's a very comfortable way to control games that need to move the mouse very precisely and get over large distances on the screen."

To see the gamepad in action, check out the video below.

Steam Controller Demonstration

Discuss
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  • 2 Hide
    sp00 , October 12, 2013 9:22 AM
    Real time strategy games please!
  • -5 Hide
    ohim , October 12, 2013 9:25 AM
    You`ll get eaten alive in fps games vs mouse users... Still don`t get it why they take a perfectly accurate device like the mouse and try to make it something else... This pad is similar to what you currently have on touch screen phones while playing FPS games.. tried it once and totally hated it
  • 2 Hide
    Gerry Allen , October 12, 2013 9:31 AM
    Note that it took two swipes to do a 360...a great way to get killed early and often. Still, early days yet; it might get better with further optimization.
  • -5 Hide
    bombebomb , October 12, 2013 9:36 AM
    Always trying to reinvent the mouse, sometimes an item from the early days is already perfected.
  • 5 Hide
    sp00 , October 12, 2013 9:39 AM
    This is better than a traditional game pad, but it won't beat a mouse and keyboard setup.
  • -2 Hide
    chaospower , October 12, 2013 10:19 AM
    Try playing an FPS using your laptop's trackpad as a mouse if you want to know what aiming with this will feel like.
  • 3 Hide
    dudewitbow , October 12, 2013 10:27 AM
    Quote:
    Note that it took two swipes to do a 360...a great way to get killed early and often. Still, early days yet; it might get better with further optimization.


    You make it sound like you can't alter sensitivity in any way
  • 5 Hide
    ferooxidan , October 12, 2013 10:34 AM
    Really all of the comments above. Get real people. Comparing to mouse and keyboard setup? Really? It feels like u compare a lambo and a vw beetle in a drag race. There are tons of people playing CoD on Xbox 360 using gamepad. With ur comments above, why should they bother using gamepad then? Play it on a PC.
    But that is not the case, this demo is to show you that the gamepad is accurate enough to be a replacement for a mouse and a keyboard setup. Also in my opinion it is even better than playing a fps game with gamepad. Those are 2 things u should compare, apple to apple, a gamepad with a gamepad. And they did mention that the Steam Machine will be compatible with keyboard and mouse, still want to make kids comment like "way to get killed early on fps"?
  • 2 Hide
    clonazepam , October 12, 2013 10:36 AM
    I think a determined person can adapt to anything. I know plenty of gamers with MS, the use of only one hand, and Ectrodactyly (split hand, cleft hand or lobster claw hand). I'm just glad there are alternatives for everyone to find what works best in their situations.
  • 2 Hide
    ohim , October 12, 2013 10:54 AM
    @ferooxidan, yes, we compare it to keyboard and mouse, since they are both input devices also, so what if you have a console ? Couldn`t they just make a mini "keyboard" that would have the WASD + space + shift combination (nostromo like but much cheaper) and let you put a mouse to your console ? For best gameplay on FPS games ? Yes, it is better than a traditional gamepad but for FPS there are even better input devices that are totally ignored when it comes to consoles for no obvious reasons... they tried unified BF3 servers... console players couldn`t keep up with PC players and they separated them... instead of making 2 different servers they could just implement mouse to all...
  • 2 Hide
    Unolocogringo , October 12, 2013 10:55 AM
    In the beginning the PS3 was to have mouse/keyboard support for gaming.
    But in their testing mouse/keyboard players were much better than controller users.
    They decided to end support for keyboard/mouse as it would ruin the experience for casual gamers using a controller. Always losing to mouse/keyboard users.
    This was published a long time ago.
    I think the only game to receive m/k support was CS.
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , October 12, 2013 10:56 AM
    Post edited by me... when i refresh page after i post... it just posts again what i`ve wrote :| down vote this pls.
  • 1 Hide
    airborne11b , October 12, 2013 11:15 AM
    The point of this is not to "replace" the mouse an keyboard, but to offer a better solution to playing PC games on the couch than using the joystick based crappy PS and Xbox controllers.

    The main issue is that games are designed on the PC specifically for mouse and keyboard. Often times you have to use 3rd party programs like Xpadder to get a controller to work, and even then it sucks. This new control address that issue extremely well. It isn't supposed to be "superior" or "an upgrade" to the mouse and keyboard. It's a livingroom friendly alternative.

    Sure, if you bring one of these to a CS, CoD or Battlefield LAN, you're gunna get smoked hard, but again, that's not the point.

    The point is to bring the PC into the living room.
  • -1 Hide
    viliu24 , October 12, 2013 11:15 AM
    nice presentation , cs train , portal (no fast skill required), civ where u fell a sleep. You should put there some mario, candy crush and temple run...... Give us some real life usage in multiplayer fps , rts, racing etc.. I havent tried and i cant tell how good it is , it may be better than a controller but is hard to belive that is replacement for kb+mouse setup. I like the idea of a better controller but why some people try to reinvent the wheel. CS GO is the best example why you can compare controller with kb+mouse since CS GO started as a project that will be a revolutionary game where people from pc will meet people from consoles , so in the end we end up with a nice game with crappy console menus and no crossplatform fighting
  • -4 Hide
    viliu24 , October 12, 2013 11:29 AM
    nice presentation , cs train , portal (no fast skill required), civ where u fell a sleep. You should put there some mario, candy crush and temple run...... Give us some real life usage in multiplayer fps , rts, racing etc.. I havent tried and i cant tell how good it is , it may be better than a controller but is hard to belive that is replacement for kb+mouse setup. I like the idea of a better controller but why some people try to reinvent the wheel. CS GO is the best example why you can compare controller with kb+mouse since CS GO started as a project that will be a revolutionary game where people from pc will meet people from consoles , so in the end we end up with a nice game with crappy console menus and no crossplatform fighting
  • 4 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 12, 2013 1:44 PM
    Quote:
    You`ll get eaten alive in fps games vs mouse users... Still don`t get it why they take a perfectly accurate device like the mouse and try to make it something else... This pad is similar to what you currently have on touch screen phones while playing FPS games.. tried it once and totally hated it


    I agree but its an interesting idea. No one else has really innovated gamepads for years. Since the first dual shock they have been pretty much the same.

    This will be interesting to see how well it works with games meant to have controllers like platformers.
  • 2 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , October 12, 2013 2:00 PM
    Seems a lot of people are missing the point. its not meant to replace a mouse! its just so you have something you can sit back and relax on your lounge with. I use a Logitech F710 controller from time to time for some games on my TV, its fine for RPG's and emulators. The only flaw i see for steam controller is for racing games, where an analog stick is necessary. I'm sure they could put an analog stick on the controller, make it like the old N64 controllers with one in the middle.
  • -1 Hide
    chaospower , October 12, 2013 2:35 PM
    Quote:
    Really all of the comments above. Get real people. Comparing to mouse and keyboard setup? Really? It feels like u compare a lambo and a vw beetle in a drag race. There are tons of people playing CoD on Xbox 360 using gamepad. With ur comments above, why should they bother using gamepad then? Play it on a PC.
    But that is not the case, this demo is to show you that the gamepad is accurate enough to be a replacement for a mouse and a keyboard setup. Also in my opinion it is even better than playing a fps game with gamepad. Those are 2 things u should compare, apple to apple, a gamepad with a gamepad. And they did mention that the Steam Machine will be compatible with keyboard and mouse, still want to make kids comment like "way to get killed early on fps"?


    Why should we compare the accuracy of this to a gamepad? a steam box is a PC, and as such if you play it using the gamepad that comes with it, you'll be facing people who use a mouse and keyboard in multiplayer games. If everyone were to use a gamepad on PC, then sure, I wouldn't mind. But when you'll be decimated in CS:GO or BO2 because you failed to react fast enough just because of your steambox gamepad compared to the trusty mouse and keyboard that your opponents use, then you'll realize that there is truly a problem.
    It's a very nice try to make PC gaming more accessible, to be used in a living room environment. And while I was suprised with how accurate and natural it seemed to feel for the person in the video, I remain skeptical about how this can be used in competitive multiplayer gaming (And I really don't even mean pro level)
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , October 12, 2013 3:15 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Really all of the comments above. Get real people. Comparing to mouse and keyboard setup? Really? It feels like u compare a lambo and a vw beetle in a drag race. There are tons of people playing CoD on Xbox 360 using gamepad. With ur comments above, why should they bother using gamepad then? Play it on a PC.
    But that is not the case, this demo is to show you that the gamepad is accurate enough to be a replacement for a mouse and a keyboard setup. Also in my opinion it is even better than playing a fps game with gamepad. Those are 2 things u should compare, apple to apple, a gamepad with a gamepad. And they did mention that the Steam Machine will be compatible with keyboard and mouse, still want to make kids comment like "way to get killed early on fps"?


    Why should we compare the accuracy of this to a gamepad? a steam box is a PC, and as such if you play it using the gamepad that comes with it, you'll be facing people who use a mouse and keyboard in multiplayer games. If everyone were to use a gamepad on PC, then sure, I wouldn't mind. But when you'll be decimated in CS:GO or BO2 because you failed to react fast enough just because of your steambox gamepad compared to the trusty mouse and keyboard that your opponents use, then you'll realize that there is truly a problem.
    It's a very nice try to make PC gaming more accessible, to be used in a living room environment. And while I was suprised with how accurate and natural it seemed to feel for the person in the video, I remain skeptical about how this can be used in competitive multiplayer gaming (And I really don't even mean pro level)

    youre still missing the point though. sure, pcs are most usually played with mouse and keyboard at all times, but this is NOT the case in the living room. what valve is trying to do is make the pc a viable option for gaming on your big tv. because really, playing with mouse and keyboard on tv isnt a good option. for playing fps and strategy games, this is superior to traditional gamepads.

    this is not trying to be better than mouse and keyboard, JUST trying a better solution for certain pc games on your tv.

    Also, I would strongly disagree with people saying youd get "decimated" by pc gamers with mouses. it is very similar to mouse in fact because it relies on very precise movements. its not like analog sticks where you move a little and it keeps going. with mouse its the wrist and with this its the thumb. it just takes getting used to.
  • 1 Hide
    overdlord , October 12, 2013 4:57 PM
    What ferooxidan and bustapr missed in the actrical was "tech allows gamers to aim and shoot without any kind of auto-aim help." end quote. People don't realize that counsel's have to use tons of auto aiming programing to make the playable with game pads. A joy stick was made for pac-man and pong not a 3D shooter. That why mice and controllers don't play together. One got better accuracy and the other needs aim assist or or sticky aim to play. Whit out it the games would not be as playable or fun. Just do a web search if you don't agree. Here some info on it.

    There are four types of assisted aiming in console games: Snapping, Friction, Acceleration, and Magnetism.

    1. Magnetism defines and outlines how far a bullet will "bend" in order to hit an enemy. Bullets and projectiles do not necessarily travel in a straight path; they will curve very slightly in order to hit a target. Different projectiles will experience different curvatures.

    2. Snapping reorients the gun barrels toward enemies whenever a player's reticle are in proximity to their target.

    3. Acceleration makes it so that when the player pegs their aiming stick in one direction the player's reticle will start moving slowly in that direction then pick up speed.

    4. Friction slows the player's turn rate as soon as their reticule passes over an enemy. What it does is that it slows your top speed, and then dramatically decrease the rate at which the crosshair will slow down when you release the stick.

    Here a few link and a video about controller auto aim being demonstrated.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaom3cdZv1c

    http://www.halopedia.org/Aim-Assist
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